Hot Set

© Louis Felder

(Comedy, a full-length play)
A writer wants to star in his own life script but his supporting players want to be stars too.

Eight characters, suggested sets, present time

Michael Stone, about 36, a writer from New York who wants to make it in LA.
Naomi Eisenbaum, about 30, good-looking, aggressive, wants to be a producer in LA.
Samantha, 20s, sexy, a selfish, success-starved actress.
Will Parker, 40-60, a successful, sex-starved producer.
Jeffrey Cole, about 35, very Hollywood, smooth, stupid, craven.
Grayson Argyle, 20, a powerful television executive. The actor who plays him in Act Two must double as a Waiter in Act One.
Chantal, early 20s, the smart secretary to Grayson Argyle.
Eric, 20-35, a long-suffering stage manager.


A comedy. HOT SET has an unusual format. There are eight actors playing actors who play characters in the play. In addition, the stage crew is visible on stage, along with props, scenery, etc. The crew does its work in full view of the audience. When not working, they hang out in the wings, visible.

The actors stroll onto an undressed stage not sure which characters they are playing because they have no scripts. Ostensibly there is no script. They “ad-lib” remarks to each other and to the audience until Michael Stone arrives.

He explains to the audience that he intends to star in his own “success scenario” by projecting a positive life script for himself, like a movie. He warns that, as in life, the first take is final, whatever happens is what you get. The other actors grumble because, as in life, they also want to star, not play supporting roles.

Michael Stone, a failed New York stage writer, has come to Los Angeles to write for television, but doesn’t know how to proceed. Naomi Eisenbaum needs a project to produce, and they team up. She uses her contacts to pitch Michael’s stories but he’s na•ve and messes up. In fact, nothing goes the way he planed, mainly because the other actors prefer to star in their own success scenarios and proceed to do what’s best for them.

Jeffrey Cole, a producer, wants Naomi to work with him and not Michael; he also wants her in other ways. Finally Michael and Naomi get a TV deal and each other – a true Hollywood ending.

When Michael Stone speaks to the audience, there is no fourth wall. But when a scene is “on” the fourth wall exists, and the audience has a camera’s point of view

The play is very theatrical and fun for the audience, especially when audience members are used as extras when needed. The first scene in Michael’s apartment is like a sitcom, and a laugh track is heard. Another scene is like a soap opera and soap opera music is heard. The actor who plays a waiter in Act One doubles as the network head of development in Act Two.

Eight or more actors may be used; they are all in their 20s and 30s except for one.

Download the script